Saturday, December 17, 2016

Happenings in the real life Christmas kitchen

Yes, things have been happening in my real Christmas kitchen -- and that's partially why I have not been here in my virtual kitchen every day as I hoped and planned to do.  My little island (actually a formica-topped desk from my teen years, hand-built by my dad) does not look this neat or tidy today.  Rather, it is piled high with ingredients: dried apricots, golden raisins, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips. evaporated milk, orange slice candy, and more, ready to be turned into kitchen gifts.

It's snowing hard outside
View of our back woods through an upstairs dormer window
Snow-covered balcony outside our bedroom
Looking through a front dormer window down to the snowy road. 
 but it's been a cozy morning in the kitchen as I've baked up Eggnog Log Cookies

photo from Taste of Home
and a double batch of Sacher Torte Cookies.  The recipe for those is here in the archives, but I'm going to put the recipe here right now:

The sacher torte cookies are in the right-hand point of the star -- the small round cookies with the chocolate topping.  There's jam underneath!
This is another of our very favorite Christmas cookie recipes. These are great all year long for special occasions such as tea parties, showers, etc.


1 cup butter, softened
1 (4 1/2 oz.) pkg. instant chocolate pudding mix
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
2 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup apricot (or raspberry) jam
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 tablespoons melted butter

Heat oven to 325°. In a large mixing bowl, combine butter and pudding mix; cream together until fluffy. Beat in egg and extract. Gradually add flour, beating at low speed with mixer until dough forms. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Dip balls in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased
cookie sheets. With your thumb, make an imprint in center of each ball.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until cookies are firm; remove from sheets immediately to wire racks to cool.

When cookies are cool, fill each indentation with about 1/2 teaspoon jam. At this point, you may find it helpful to place wax paper under your cooling racks to catch any drips of chocolate from the next step.

In a small saucepan, or in microwave, blend chips and butter over low heat until chocolate melts, stirring constantly. Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon chocolate over each cookie.

Yield: About 4 dozen cookies.

These look pretty and fancy but are very easy to make. I found this recipe in a Yankee magazine article about the Wellesley Cookie Exchange. What a great recipe!

Another day this week I made Coffee Shop Fudge

photo from Taste of Home
and a cookies and creme fudge from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook.  From another Gooseberry cookbook I made a white chocolate snack mix with cheerios, pretzels, rice chex, peanuts, and M&Ms.  I've packaged up two tins of that for gift giving.

All in all there has been a lot going on in my actual Christmas kitchen.  And there is likely to be a lot more kitchen activity in the next few days!


  1. Oh how I miss snow...those pics are gorgeous. I have been baking up a storm too...but Im totally inspired to make some Eggnog Log Cookies..
    Have a great week baking
    Phoebe x

    1. Oh, Phoebe, I'm glad I could share some snow with you! Hope you enjoy the eggnog logs if you make them. They are one of our "must-makes" for Christmas. Everyone loves them!

  2. Merry Christmas week to you!
    I will be baking this week too.
    I am going to check out the Eggnog Log Cookies. Yum!
    Have a blessed week and Merry Christmas!

    1. I hope you enjoy the cookies if you try them, Carla! We love them, and the sacher torte cookies are quite amazing also. I still have several more types of cookies and one kind of fudge and some little apricot cakes to make. Nearly all of my gifts are wrapped, though, and the tree is finally up.

      A blessed week and Merry Christmas to you as well!

  3. You've been busy! I finished baking last week because our family Christmas was this past Saturday. Now we just have to eat it all up (or give it away!) this week. If you still want to exchange Christmas cards, please email me your address. Thanks!

  4. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, Vicki! Your card arrived safely ... so pretty ... loved it, and your family photo is so nice too.


Thanks for visiting my Christmas kitchen! I love company here in my kitchen all year round, so please leave a comment so I'll know you visited. I will answer any questions and comments here on the blog, so be sure and check "notify me" to see replies. God bless your day!